Skip to main content

Trade war forces Google to move number of factories from China

Pixel 3a XL Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Google is moving many of its factories from China to other Asian countries such as Vietnam and Thailand, according to a report from the Chinese newspaper Nikkei. While rising labor prices in China are also blamed for the company deciding to make the move, a large proportion of blame is attributed to the spiraling tariff costs associated with the ongoing China-U.S. trade war.

While Google will keep some of its factories within China, many of Google’s factories will be moved to other Asian countries — specifically, factories that create devices for the international market. According to the report, Google has already worked with a partner to begin moving its Pixel 3a factory to the Bac Ninh province of Vietnam, and plans to move many of the factories for its other devices. Manufacture of Google’s smart speaker range, the Google/Nest Home, are also reported to be moving out of China to Thailand.

The move comes at the same time as Google plots an aggressive push into the mobile market. While one of the biggest boys on the block where its Android software is concerned, Google’s own Pixel range struggles to match sales with the likes of Apple and Samsung. However, the release of the $400 Pixel 3a has started to change that, with Google reporting half-year sales of 4.1 million units that almost matched that of the entirety of 2018.

The small size of Google’s hardware manufacturing also worked to its advantage in this case. Due to its smaller size, it’s much easier for Google to quickly pack up and move factories in response to external pressures like the trade war or the Chinese economic situation. By comparison, Apple’s massive manufacturing base would likely find it a lot harder to move to another country. With Google aiming for 8 million to 10 million smartphone shipments this year, it must see the prospective locations as solid long-term factory locations. In fact, the aforementioned Vietnamese province of Bac Ninh was previously home to Samsung’s smartphone development, so Google may profit from finding an experienced workforce there.

We have reached out to Google for comment on this story, and we will update when we hear back.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Jansen
Mark Jansen is an avid follower of everything that beeps, bloops, or makes pretty lights. He has a degree in Ancient &…
The best Google Pixel 3a cases and covers
google pixel 3a review hands on 1

Pixel 3a Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If you're looking for a great phone for $400, it's hard to find a better Android option than the Google Pixel 3a. Your money gets you excellent midrange power, super-smooth Android 10, fast updates, good battery life, and an excellent camera.

Read more
Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a: 10 amazing tips and tricks
Google Pixel 3 review

The Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL and Pixel 3a and Pixel 3a XL are phones with hidden depths. In this guide, we’ve got step-by-step instructions for you to help you customize your new phones, dig into the best shortcuts, and uncover the most exciting features.

We’ll run through some features exclusive to the Pixel line, and some that will work on any Android 10 phone. Before we dive in, Pixel 3 XL owners might want to look at how to hide the notch. Without further ado, here are our top Pixel 3 tips.
How to customize your home screen

Read more
OnePlus Nord vs. Pixel 3a XL: Time to crown a new midrange Android king?
oneplus nord review top hand

OnePlus hasn't launched a phone with a midrange price in some time, but the flagship killer is going back to its lower-priced roots with the OnePlus Nord. OnePlus's new phone starts at an extremely competitive 379 British pounds (about $480), and while it doesn't have the flagship specs of its beefier brethren, the Nord is still a powerful addition to OnePlus' roster and a great midrange phone to boot.

There's some serious competition in this space, and the Google Pixel 3a XL is one of those. How does OnePlus' new phone stack up against a seasoned contender like the Pixel, and which is best for you? We took a look to find out.

Read more